21 August 2003 14:39 [Source: ICIS news]LONDON (CNI)--The UK chemicals industry expects both prices and output to rise in the next three months, according to the latest Confederation of British Industries (CBI) survey published Thursday.
The CBI's monthly industrial trends survey in late July/early August showed that 16% of respondents believed average prices at which domestic orders are booked would rise, compared with 2% previously. Twenty six percent expected prices to fall, down from 36%.
On the outlook for chemicals output, some 18% of the respondents expected production to rise over the next three months, up from 16% in the last survey. Some 9% expected production to decrease, down from 15%.
On their present order books, chemical manufacturers were more optimistic, in line with the overall manufacturing trend. Order books were viewed as above normal by 17% of those surveyed, up from 3%. The majority - 62% - regarded their orders to be at normal levels, up from 46% of respondents in the previous survey. Twenty percent saw their order as below normal, down from the 50% last time.
For the entire UK manufacturing sector, the CBI said there was a "glimmer of hope" of recovery with order books at the best level for nine months. Total orders remained well below normal but less so than at anytime since November 2002, it pointed out. Yet firms do not expect the improvement to push up output over the next three months, the CBI added.
Doug Godden, CBI head of economic analysis, commented: "Conditions facing manufacturers have proved disappointing throughout this year.
“Overseas, weak markets have prevented exporters from benefiting from sterling's decline. At home, manufacturers seem to have been missing out on the domestic demand generated by consumers and the government.”The survey was carried out between 23 July and 14 August and 1004 manufacturers responded.
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